US4644156A - Code wheel for reflective optical rotary encoders - Google Patents

Code wheel for reflective optical rotary encoders Download PDF

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Publication number
US4644156A
US4644156A US06/692,392 US69239285A US4644156A US 4644156 A US4644156 A US 4644156A US 69239285 A US69239285 A US 69239285A US 4644156 A US4644156 A US 4644156A
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United States
Prior art keywords
code wheel
reflective
areas
non
light
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related
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US06/692,392
Inventor
Yoshihiro Takahashi
Hiraku Abe
Yasuhiro Mamiya
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Alps Electric Co Ltd
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Alps Electric Co Ltd
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Publication date
Priority to JP417584U priority Critical patent/JPS60118912U/ja
Priority to JP59-4175[U] priority
Application filed by Alps Electric Co Ltd filed Critical Alps Electric Co Ltd
Assigned to ALPS ELECTRIC CO., LTD. reassignment ALPS ELECTRIC CO., LTD. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST. Assignors: ABE, HIRAKU, MAMIYA, YASUHIRO, TAKAHASHI, YOSHIHIRO
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US4644156A publication Critical patent/US4644156A/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01DMEASURING NOT SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR A SPECIFIC VARIABLE; ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEASURING TWO OR MORE VARIABLES NOT COVERED IN A SINGLE OTHER SUBCLASS; TARIFF METERING APPARATUS; MEASURING OR TESTING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G01D5/00Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable
    • G01D5/26Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable characterised by optical transfer means, i.e. using infra-red, visible, or ultra-violet light
    • G01D5/32Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable characterised by optical transfer means, i.e. using infra-red, visible, or ultra-violet light with attenuation or whole or partial obturation of beams of light
    • G01D5/34Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable characterised by optical transfer means, i.e. using infra-red, visible, or ultra-violet light with attenuation or whole or partial obturation of beams of light the beams of light being detected by photocells
    • G01D5/347Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable characterised by optical transfer means, i.e. using infra-red, visible, or ultra-violet light with attenuation or whole or partial obturation of beams of light the beams of light being detected by photocells using displacement encoding scales
    • G01D5/34707Scales; Discs, e.g. fixation, fabrication, compensation

Abstract

A code wheel for use in a reflective optical rotary encoder includes a code wheel body formed of a light-reflective material, and a photosensitive layer directly coated on a flat surface of the code wheel body and exposed to light to produce angularly spaced non-reflecting surfaces, thereby providing alternate reflecting and non-reflecting surfaces on the code wheel body. The speed and direction of rotation of the code wheel can be detected by radiating light onto the reflecting and non-reflecting surfaces and detecting light reflected by the reflecting surfaces.

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a code wheel for use in a reflective optical rotary encoder, and more particularly to a code wheel for a reflective optical rotary encoder which detects the speed and direction of rotation of the code wheel by radiating light onto a pattern of reflecting and non-reflecting areas on the code wheel and receiving reflected light from the code wheel.

Conventional rotary encoder code wheels will be described with reference to FIGS. 1 through 3 of the accompanying drawings.

As shown in FIG. 1, a disk-shaped code wheel 2 is mounted on a shaft 1a of a motor 1 and has a flat upper surface 2a having thereon a plurality of radial, substantially sectorial reflecting areas 3 spaced at equal angular intervals and a plurality of radial non-reflecting areas 4 between the reflecting areas 3. A single light-emitting element 5 and two photodetectors 6, 7 one on each side of the light-emitting element 5 are disposed in confronting relation to the upper surface 2a with optical fibers 8, 9, 10 interposed. When the code wheel 2 is rotated, a beam of light emitted from the light-emitting element 5 is reflected by the reflecting areas 3 and detected by the two photodetectors 6, 7 as successive pulse signals, which are processed to determine the speed and direction of rotation of the code wheel 2.

FIGS. 2A and 2B show a conventional code wheel for use in the above encoder. The code wheel, designated at 2, is of a disk shape made of a non-reflecting material as shown in FIG. 2A. On the flat upper surface 2a of the code wheel 2, there are deposited radial sectorial reflecting layers 3 by hot stamping or vapor deposition as shown in FIG. 2B, leaving portions of the upper surface 2a between the adjacent reflecting members 3 as non-reflecting areas 4.

With the conventional code wheel as shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, it is relatively expensive to form the reflecting layers 3, and the code wheel does not lend itself to mass production and hence cannot be lowered in cost.

FIG. 3 illustrates another conventional code wheel. The disk-shaped code wheel, denoted at 11, is formed of a reflecting material and has an upper surface 11a to which is applied a mask 12 of a non-reflecting material having radial sectorial slits 12a defined therein. Portions of an upper surface 11a of the code wheel are utilized as reflecting areas, while the mask 12 itself serves as non-reflecting areas.

The slits 12a in the mask 12 are normally punched or etched, a process which results in a poor parting accuracy of the edges of the slits 12a which define the reflecting and non-reflecting areas. The code wheel of FIG. 3 is therefore unable to increase the resolution of an encoder for detecting optical pulses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

With the foregoing problems in view, it is an object of the present invention to provide a code wheel for a reflective optical encoder, which can be mass-produced, is less costly, and has a high resolution.

To achieve the above object, a photosensitive layer is directly coated on an upper surface of a reflective code wheel, and a mask plate with slits defined therein is superimposed on the photosensitive layer, which is exposed to light through the slits in the mask plate, thereby providing alternate reflecting and non-reflecting surfaces.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which a preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown by way of illustrative example.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an encoder with a conventional code wheel having reflecting and non-reflecting areas on an upper surface thereof;

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a code wheel disk of a conventional code wheel;

FIG. 2B is a perspective view of the code wheel of FIG. 2A on which reflecting layers are deposited;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of another prior encoder;

FIGS. 4A through 4E are views illustrative of progresssive steps of manufacturing a code wheel according to the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the code wheel of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 4A through 4E and 5.

As shown in FIG. 4A, a code wheel disk body 13 is made of a light-reflective material having a flat upper surface 13a. The flat upper surface 13a is directly coated with a photosensitive layer 14 as shown in FIG. 4B. A mask plate 15 having slits defined therein is then superimposed on the code wheel disk body 13 over the photosensitive layer 14, which is then exposed to light through the slits in the mask plate 15, as shown in FIG. 4C. Thereafter, the mask plate 15 is removed, and exposed portions of the photosensitive layer 14 serve as non-reflecting surfaces 16, while masked portions of the photosensitive layer 14 serve as reflecting surfaces 17, as illustrated in FIG. 4D. The non-reflecting and reflecting surfaces 16, 17 are alternately positioned.

A surface coating layer 18 may be applied to the non-reflecting and reflecting surfaces 16, 17 as shown in FIG. 4E.

FIG. 5 shows the code wheel, denoted at 19, thus manufactured. The code wheel 19 is used with the encoder in the manner as described above with reference to FIG. 1.

Examples of the method of manufacturing a code wheel as shown in FIGS. 4A through 4E will be described.

According to a first example, the reflective code wheel disk body was in the form of an aluminum disk which was anodized to produce an anodized coating layer of a desired thickness having a high reflectivity (about 90%), thus providing a reflecting surface. A photosensitive layer was coated on the reflecting surface of the disk body and exposed to light with masking used to form a highly precise pattern directly on the aluminum plate, thereby providing a code wheel. Non-reflecting areas had a reflectivity of 7% or lower, and the code wheel was well capable of detecting optical pulses. According to a second example, the reflective code wheel disk body was made of a polyester film with an aluminum layer formed thereon by vapor deposition, and a pattern was formed on the disk body in the same manner as described above with reference to the first example. The code wheel thus fabricated had reflecting areas of a reflectivity of 80% and non-reflecting areas of a reflectivity of 10% or less, and was also well capable of detecting optical pulses.

With the present invention, as described above, a code wheel can be fabricated by coating a photosensitive layer directly on a reflective body and exposing the photosensitive layer to light. The code wheel can be produced in a small number of steps with ease, and can well be mass-produced. Since a pattern of reflecting and non-reflecting areas is formed by photomasking, it can be produced highly precisely and in a short period of time. The code wheel can also be produced less costly due to the small number of manufacturing steps and its ability to be mass-produced.

Although a certain preferred embodiment has been shown and described, it should be understood that many changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (6)

What is claimed is:
1. In a reflective optical rotary encoder of the type having a code wheel with a surface provided with alternating reflective and non-reflective sectorial areas spaced at predetermined angular intervals, and a photodetector for radiating light onto said areas and detecting light reflected from the reflective areas, whereby the speed and direction of rotation of the code wheel can be determined,
the improvement wherein a code wheel body of said code wheel including said surface is formed of a light-reflective material and has directly coated on said surface a non-reflective photosensitive layer having alternating sectorial areas etched away by exposure to light to expose said light-reflecting surface beneath, so as to provide said alternating reflective and non-reflective sectorial areas.
2. A code wheel according to claim 1, further including a protective coating layer deposited on said reflecting and non-reflecting areas, to protect said areas.
3. A code wheel according to claim 1, wherein said code wheel body is made of aluminum.
4. A code wheel according to claim 1, wherein said code wheel body is made of polyester film with an aluminum layer thereon.
5. In a method of making a reflective optical rotary encoder of the type having a code wheel with a surface provided with alternating reflective and non-reflective sectorial areas spaced at predetermined angular intervals, and a photodetector for radiating light onto said areas and detecting light reflected from the reflective areas, whereby the speed and direction of rotation of the code wheel can be determined,
the improvement comprising the steps of:
forming a code wheel body of said code wheel including said surface of a light-reflective material;
directly coating on said surface a non-reflective photosensitive layer; and
etching away alternating sectorial areas of said photosensitive layer by exposure to light through a mask to expose said light-reflecting surface beneath, thereby providing said alternating reflective and non-reflective sectorial areas.
6. An improved method of making a reflective optical rotary encoder according to claim 5, further comprising the step of forming a coating layer over said reflective and non-reflective areas, to protect said areas.
US06/692,392 1984-01-18 1985-01-17 Code wheel for reflective optical rotary encoders Expired - Fee Related US4644156A (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP417584U JPS60118912U (en) 1984-01-18 1984-01-18
JP59-4175[U] 1984-01-18

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Cited By (55)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4780610A (en) * 1986-03-04 1988-10-25 Alps Electric Co., Ltd. Optical rotary encoder having superposed metal plate and shield plate
US4806751A (en) * 1985-09-30 1989-02-21 Alps Electric Co., Ltd. Code wheel for a reflective type optical rotary encoder
US5057685A (en) * 1989-01-04 1991-10-15 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Optical rotation detector including a disk having slits with concave and convex parts and method of manufacturing
US5107107A (en) * 1990-03-30 1992-04-21 The United States Of America As Represented By The Administarator Of The National Aeronautics And Space Administration Laser optical disk position encoder with active heads
EP0497742A1 (en) * 1991-01-25 1992-08-05 Edoardo Van Lamsweerde A graduated element for optical reading by reflection and a method for its manufacture
DE4108954A1 (en) * 1991-03-19 1992-09-24 Reinshagen Kabelwerk Gmbh Optical rotation angle transducer suitable for explosive areas - contains sectored plate and sensor contg. one transmission optical fibre and two receiving ones, and evaluation stage
US5508088A (en) * 1993-09-27 1996-04-16 Braun; Paul-Wilhelm Timing device and method of manufacture therefor
GB2299403A (en) * 1994-08-25 1996-10-02 Braun Paul Wilheim Timing scale or timing disc
FR2734049A1 (en) * 1995-05-12 1996-11-15 Braun Paul W Timing rule or disc of transparent material
US5672865A (en) * 1995-03-27 1997-09-30 Braun; Paul-Wilhelm Timing device for controlling machinery and other servomechanical devices and method of manufacture therefor
ES2110897A1 (en) * 1995-03-30 1998-02-16 Braun Paul W Synchronization gauge or disc.
WO2001011320A1 (en) * 1999-08-05 2001-02-15 Dr. Johannes Heidenhain Gmbh Reflection material measure and method for producing a reflection material measure
US6437324B1 (en) * 1998-12-23 2002-08-20 Pwb - Ruhlatec Industrieprodukte Gmbh Timing ruler or timing disk and process for its manufacture
US6671092B2 (en) 2000-03-10 2003-12-30 Johannes Heidenhain Gmbh Reflective measuring scale graduation and method for its manufacture
FR2861212A1 (en) * 2003-10-20 2005-04-22 Valeo Climatisation Control panel for motor vehicles dashboard, has optical encoder having movable rotation part projecting from control panel and fixed part cooperating with movable part for emitting and receiving light
US20070016328A1 (en) * 2005-02-18 2007-01-18 Andrew Ziegler Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
DE4429892B4 (en) * 1993-09-27 2007-05-03 Pwb-Ruhlatec Industrieprodukte Gmbh Timing rule or timing disk
US20070114975A1 (en) * 2004-01-21 2007-05-24 Irobot Corporation Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods
US20070179670A1 (en) * 2002-01-24 2007-08-02 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US20070213892A1 (en) * 2001-06-12 2007-09-13 Irobot Corporation Method and System for Multi-Mode Coverage For An Autonomous Robot
US20070250212A1 (en) * 2005-12-02 2007-10-25 Halloran Michael J Robot system
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US20080290261A1 (en) * 2004-06-30 2008-11-27 Steve Doe Optical Encoder
US20090319083A1 (en) * 2001-01-24 2009-12-24 Irobot Corporation Robot Confinement
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EP2187177A1 (en) * 2007-09-05 2010-05-19 Nikon Corporation Reflector plate for optical encoder, method for producing the same, and optical encoder
US20110125323A1 (en) * 2009-11-06 2011-05-26 Evolution Robotics, Inc. Localization by learning of wave-signal distributions
CN102082101A (en) * 2010-07-02 2011-06-01 辽宁石油化工大学 Packaging process method of photosensitive element
US20110131741A1 (en) * 2002-01-03 2011-06-09 Jones Joseph L Autonomous Floor-Cleaning Robot
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US20130127644A1 (en) * 2011-11-22 2013-05-23 Mitutoyo Corporation Scale of photoelectric encoder and manufacturing method of the same
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CN103620349A (en) * 2011-06-09 2014-03-05 Kodenshi株式会社 Scale for rotary encoder, method of injection-molding same, and rotary encoder using same
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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4806751A (en) * 1985-09-30 1989-02-21 Alps Electric Co., Ltd. Code wheel for a reflective type optical rotary encoder
US4780610A (en) * 1986-03-04 1988-10-25 Alps Electric Co., Ltd. Optical rotary encoder having superposed metal plate and shield plate
US5057685A (en) * 1989-01-04 1991-10-15 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Optical rotation detector including a disk having slits with concave and convex parts and method of manufacturing
US5107107A (en) * 1990-03-30 1992-04-21 The United States Of America As Represented By The Administarator Of The National Aeronautics And Space Administration Laser optical disk position encoder with active heads
EP0497742A1 (en) * 1991-01-25 1992-08-05 Edoardo Van Lamsweerde A graduated element for optical reading by reflection and a method for its manufacture
DE4108954A1 (en) * 1991-03-19 1992-09-24 Reinshagen Kabelwerk Gmbh Optical rotation angle transducer suitable for explosive areas - contains sectored plate and sensor contg. one transmission optical fibre and two receiving ones, and evaluation stage
US5508088A (en) * 1993-09-27 1996-04-16 Braun; Paul-Wilhelm Timing device and method of manufacture therefor
DE4429892B4 (en) * 1993-09-27 2007-05-03 Pwb-Ruhlatec Industrieprodukte Gmbh Timing rule or timing disk
GB2299403B (en) * 1994-08-25 1999-04-07 Braun Paul W Timing scale or timing disc
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US5672865A (en) * 1995-03-27 1997-09-30 Braun; Paul-Wilhelm Timing device for controlling machinery and other servomechanical devices and method of manufacture therefor
ES2110897A1 (en) * 1995-03-30 1998-02-16 Braun Paul W Synchronization gauge or disc.
FR2734049A1 (en) * 1995-05-12 1996-11-15 Braun Paul W Timing rule or disc of transparent material
US6437324B1 (en) * 1998-12-23 2002-08-20 Pwb - Ruhlatec Industrieprodukte Gmbh Timing ruler or timing disk and process for its manufacture
US6961174B1 (en) 1999-08-05 2005-11-01 Dr. Johannes Heidenhain Gmbh Reflectometer and method for manufacturing a reflectometer
WO2001011320A1 (en) * 1999-08-05 2001-02-15 Dr. Johannes Heidenhain Gmbh Reflection material measure and method for producing a reflection material measure
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US20110131741A1 (en) * 2002-01-03 2011-06-09 Jones Joseph L Autonomous Floor-Cleaning Robot
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FR2861212A1 (en) * 2003-10-20 2005-04-22 Valeo Climatisation Control panel for motor vehicles dashboard, has optical encoder having movable rotation part projecting from control panel and fixed part cooperating with movable part for emitting and receiving light
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US20050164623A1 (en) * 2003-10-20 2005-07-28 Valeo Climatisation S.A. Control panel for a motor vehicle fascia, having at least one optically controlled rotary adjustment knob
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